MTV Movie Awards Honors Digital Performances

Eminem won’t be the only animated movie star up for the coveted Moonman at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards. For this year’s ceremony, a new category called Best Virtual Performance has been added. The award will recognize digital characters from live-action films. Nominees are Yoda (Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones) Kangaroo Jack (Kangaroo Jack), Gollum (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), Dobby (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and Scooby-Doo (Scooby-Doo).

With Two Towers having won a host of visual effects awards, including this year’s Oscar, Gollum is the frontrunner. Still, the MTV Movie Awards are voted by young viewers who may favor the lightsaber-wielding, ass kicking Yoda, Harry Potter pal Dobby, the rapping marsupial Jack, or even the CG, MTV-ready version of Scooby.

Both Yoda and Dobby are ILM creations, while Gollum is a product of New Zealand-based effects house Weta. The ghost-busting Great Dane was brought to the big-screen by Rhythm & Hues, and Jack was hatched at Disney’s now defunct effects arm The Secret Lab.

Yoda also popped up in another category. His showdown with Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) was nominated for Best Fight. Attack of the Clones is also represented in the Best Action Sequence, where the CG-heavy sequence “the Arena Conflict” is up against Two Towers’ “Battle for Helms Deep,” Final Destination 2‘s “Collision on Highway 23″ and Minority Report‘s “The Escape.”

Gollum is up for multiple awards as well. He joins pals Elijah Wood and Sean Astin as nominees in the category Best On-Screen Team, going head-to-head with cast members of Old School, Shanghai Knights, Blue Crush and Jackass: The Movie.

Best Movie nominees are Universal Pictures’ 8 Mile, New Line’s Two Towers, Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man, MGM’s Barbershop and DreamWorks’ The Ring. Fans can go to www.mtv.com to vote online in all categories.